ASA slams ad for making surgery look too easy

A poster ad for cosmetic surgery has been slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for promoting a surgical operation as “easy”.

The series of posters, which ran on the London Underground, showed a young woman called Amy looking miserable before her surgery and happy after it.

The ASA has banned the Harley Medical Group from running the campaign in its current form, ruling that the third poster in the threepanel series breached responsible advertising and truthfulness rules.

The text on the third panel stated: “Gorgeous breasts just got easy with cosmetic surgery”, which the ASA ruled could imply that readers did not need to seek independent medical advice and that the procedure was without risk.

Complaints that the posters implied larger breasts would make people happier, that the ads could undermine young women’s self-esteem and that images were digitally enhanced were not upheld. The watchdog says the images themselves were unlikely to make women feel dissatisfied with their bodies.

The medical group says that although it does not believe the ad is misleading or irresponsible, it will not repeat the claim in future.

Meanwhile, it did not uphold a complaint that a TV ad for children’s shoes “sexualised children” because it showed three girls, who seemed to be under ten years old, wearing make-up and nail varnish.

The ad for shoe brand Lelli Kelly, which showed girls playing with a free, fluffy pink bag that contained make-up and a mirror, was aired during ad breaks in children’s TV. The ASA says that because the girls were shown acting in a “childlike way”, the overall effect was one of “dressing up and play”.

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